After Tuesday night’s pounding at the hands of Madison the Chapmanville 11-12-year-old Little League All-Stars still had one last chance to advance to the upcoming state tournament.
But in order to do so, Chapmanville would have to beat homestanding Pineville on Wednesday night in the runner-up game of the District 2 Tournament at the Pineville Little League field.
Chapmanville did just that as it shut out Pineville 2-0 to move on to the state tournament, which begins July 20 at Martinsburg. Chapmanville finished district play 2-1 and will get a No. 2 seed in its group at the state tourney. Madison, which downed Chapmanville 16-4 in Tuesday’s District 2 finals, had already advanced to state and will get a No. 1 seed.
Last night’s game was a pitcher’s duel between Chapmanville’s Conner Mullins and Pineville’s Cameron Cook.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning.
That’s when Chapmanville’s Evan Willis came off the bench to blast a two-run, pinch-hit home run over the center field fence to put his team up 2-0.
That’s all the scoring Chapmanville would need.
It ended up being all the scoring in the entire game as Mullins got out Pineville in the top of the sixth to preserve the shutout and the win. Mullins allowed no runs and five hits with nine strikeouts, no walks and a hit batsman.
Pineville (1-2) didn’t go down without a fight.
In the bottom of the sixth, Hunter Gutier had a two-out infield single and Michael Growe followed with a single of his own to put runners at first and third. With the potential tying runs on base and the go-ahead run at the plate, Mullins then got Tanner Hall to strike out to end the game.
Gutier, who came on to pitch in relief in the sixth inning, was 2-for-3 for Pineville. Dalton Hill added a double and Preston Breeden came off the bench to add a single.
Chapmanville got a single from Mullins and a double from Adam Vance. The two-bagger by Vance came with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Willis then followed with his game-winning two-run shot.
Cook went 4.2 innings on the mound for Pineville, allowing the two runs and three hits with eight strikeouts and two walks.
The Chapmanville Little Leaguers head back to the state tournament for the second straight year.
Chapmanville went 0-3 in last year’s state tourney at Beckley and hope to do better this time around.